So this is a ridiculous situation and probably a non-issue, but I wanted to get others' takes on it and also just vent a little. I apologize for the length!
You know how in every wedding it feels like there is something that someone is just unnecessarily digging their heels in on? That is the current situation with the issue of setting out wine on the tables for our seated dinner reception, of all things.
I little background- FI's cousins own a vineyard/winery and generously offered us 50 bottles of whatever combinations of their wines we'd like to put on the tables for our wedding present. Cool deal, right? Our reception location usually does not allow outside wine to be brought in but agreed to make an exception for us- though there will still be a corkage fee. Originally FI's parents agreed upfront to cover the corkage fee since this whole idea is kind of a "their family" thing, which was lovely of them and seemed very fair to me since my family is paying for the open bar (at which we're hosting other varieties of wine in addition to beer and house liquor). Things were going well- my family was happy because having wine on the table would probably cut down on the open bar cost, his family was happy to incorporate such a unique touch from their side, and FI and I were happy to drink some good wine.
Then we found out the corkage fee. Don't ask me why we didn't find out about this earlier- FI was the one communicating with the venue about bringing in the wine and somehow neglected to ask. It's $12.00 a bottle- seemed reasonable enough to me, but I have no point of reference for this sort of thing... at any rate, it's less expensive than any of the bottles that will be served at the bar so overall money is being saved. I guess the issue is WHO'S money is being saved, since my family is paying for the bar and his for the wine on the tables.
FMIL and FFIL flipped out when they heard the price- "That is so ridiculous, there is no way we're paying that much for this" etc etc. And they were like, personally affronted that FI and I were not shocked at the price. I tried explaining to them- the venue doesn't normally allow people to bring in outside alcohol because they lose money on every drink someone drinks that isn't from their own stash, so the fee makes sense when you look at it from that point of view. FMIL and FFIL continue to be insistent that we "negotiate the price down"- which again, I have tried explaining to them that we don't really have any leverage to negotiate on this because the venue already has our money for the deposit and they're doing us a favor by even letting us bring in our own alcohol. It's just an uncomfortable situation because they told us they'd cover the corkage fee, we accepted the gift from FI's cousins, and now they are backing out, though FI and are aren't sure to what degree (we can't get a straight answer from them about that, more on that point in a minute). The reality is that having this wine on the tables is going to cut down what my parents have to pay for the open bar, so my family has said if FMIL and FFIL really don't want to pay, they'll just pay because it'll save them money overall... which is a reasonable enough solution, I just kind of resent that my parents should have to do that (maybe that's just be being petty).
So the real problem is that FFIL and FMIL won't say if/what they are willing to cover at this point. Since they offered to cover the fee initially we know there is some amount of money there that at one point they were willing to allot for this- the problem we have consistently run into throughout this whole process is that they will only pay for things they want at the price they want. Okay that actual sounds more reasonable written out than it did in my head, let me try to explain- they offer to spend thousands of dollars on a fancy photographer, for example, and don't get me wrong, we appreciate the offer, but FI and I gently try to suggest that you know what, Uncle So-and-So takes great pictures and would do it for free but where that money would REALLY help is to cover some of the cost of the dinner (or something along those lines)... but they don't care about paying for that so the money isn't there for that. I know, I know it's their money and I'm being horribly selfish for wanting to dictate where and how it's spent, but maybe y'all can understand from an emotional point of view where that's just a little bit frustrating. So anyway, the issue now is that they don't want to pay for the wine "at this price" so I suggested just cover whatever you were anticipating having to pay initially and FI and I or my family will cover the rest... but it's like, to them it's the principal of paying for something "at this price" and so they aren't sure if they want any of their money to go towards it now. I told FI I feel awkward about it and at this point I would just prefer we pay for this ourselves, which he told them and they got SO worked up and offended... and yet still did not commit to if/how much they can cover and still just wanted us to "negotiate" on the price (which TBH is not something we have time for). It pains me because we really could use their help on this- FI and I didn't budget for this because originally we were just going with the open bar that my parents offered to pay for, so it would be hard for us to come up with the money. My parents can pay for it if it comes to it, but I know there's going to be some bad feelings there as they are paying for the entire wedding and reception as it is and I know they really appreciated the gesture of FI's family covering this one thing, so they are non-plussed about the offer being revoked. We've already accepted the gift of the wine from the cousins so I don't want to be like "JK take it back, your gift was too much hassle". AGH frustrating!!!
Side note question relating to this whole vent: FI and I wanted to put two bottles of red and two bottles of white on each of the eight tables we're having... FMIL and FFIL also think this is crazy and we should just do one of each and people ask for more if they need more. I think this just looks kind of stingy and am worried about the logistics of people having to flag down servers to get more wine, but I might just be over-thinking this so I'm wonder what you all usually see done?
Okay end of vent/rant... feel free to chime in with advice or whatever, if you've read through this entire mundane problem post you are a real trooper